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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Report: Top Secret NSA Document Details Russian Hacking Efforts; Contractor Charged With Leaking Classified NSA Info On Russian Hacking; White House Won't Block Comey Testimony; Presidential Tweeting Draws Criticism; Trump Slams His Own Justice Department On Travel Ban Strategy; British Authority Identify 2 Of 3 Men Behind Attack; Report: National Security Team Blindsided By NATO Speech. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 5, 2017 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:02:11] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: On tonight's breaking news, there's new details on how far Russia went to not just flood the election with disinformation, but also try to hack into the actual machinery of the electoral process.
A leak to NSA memo revealing new details of Russian attempts to hack voting software just days before the election. Now, the alleged leaker is facing charges. "The Intercept" website broke the story.
CNN's Jim Sciutto has more and joins us now. So, the substance of the NSA document, let's talk about that.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: So, this is something that we knew some hints about before the election, that Russia had had probing attacks or at least attacks traced back to Russia of voting registration systems, electoral systems in Arizona and Illinois, in Florida as well. A contractor there hacked tied to the voting system. But, the Intel community never found any evidence that Russia had actually changed the votes of the election.
This NSA report, which is just dated a couple of weeks ago in May, gives more details about these probing attacks of electoral systems. It does not make a conclusion. It does not say that they successfully changed voter tallies, but it does give more details about how many places they were looking to get into these systems.
That information in itself is alarming enough, because it shows that beyond just stealing e-mails and releasing them, which of course had its own unmeasured affect on the election, that they were at least looking as to where else they could penetrate the systems. And that's a concern, not just looking back to 2016, Anderson, but looking forward to 2018 and 2020, because the one thing I hear consistently from U.S. Intel officials is that Russia will target U.S. elections again.
COOPER: The leaker, a woman whose legal name appears to be Reality Winner, what do we know about her?
SCIUTTO: 25-year-old contractor working down in Augusta, Georgia, which is close to a big NSA facility down there, and really how the authorities found her is interesting. She apparently printed out this classified NSA document. Shared it -- "The Intercept" says anonymously with them.
When that "Intercept" reporter got it, that reporter then showed it to another contractor and said, "Hey, is this real?" That contractor shared it with his bosses, in effect, who looked at it and drew some clues from it. One being a very simple one, that there appeared to be a crease in the image of it, which gave them an indication that this had been printed out.
So they went to look at who had printed it out. It was only half dozen so people in that unit that had printed it out. They were able through some other detective work to trace it back to this 25-year- old.
We know that she faced a court today. She's got a court appointed lawyer. CNN has spoken to her mother. So she's now facing very serious charges, Anderson.
COOPER: Jim Sciutto, appreciate that.
This is coming just three days before a pivotal moment in the larger Russia probe. On Thursday, fired FBI Director James Comey, of course, is going to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. What he says could shape what happens from here on out, perhaps, on a very big way.
[21:05:07] And, today, the White House said it would not try to stop him. More on that from Jessica Schneider.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A declaration from the White House that James Comey's testimony will proceed unimpeded.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey's scheduled testimony.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Comey will speak publicly to the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday before moving into a closed session. For lawmakers, the questions about his conversations with the president have been mounting.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN, (D) SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We want to find out what Comey was thinking at that time. If he thought it was -- had risen to that level of obstruction. And if it had, why hadn't something been done? Why didn't he act when he was still FBI director? If not, was that concern basically filed away for what purpose?
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Lawmakers plan to probe Comey's relationship with President Trump and whether the president urged the former FBI director to stop the probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Flynn's ties to Russia.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R) SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The tone, the exact words that were spoken and the context are so important. And that's what we lack right now. And we can only get that by talking to those directly involved.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Sources say Comey kept detailed memos about his interactions with the president. A source close to Comey's thinking says Comey felt disturbed by his conversations with the president, but believed he had the situation under control.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers will testify Wednesday when the Senate Intelligence Committee holds a hearing on expiring surveillance powers. The Russia investigation will be a focus.
SEN. MARK WARNER, (D) VICE CHAIRMAN, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: There is a lot of smoke. We have no smoking gun at this point, but there's a lot of smoke. And, again, one of the questions that we will have not only for Director Comey on Thursday, but on Wednesday for director of National Intelligence Coats and NSA National Security -- NSA Director Admiral Rogers, I'm going to want to ask them, because there have been reports that the president also talked to both of them in terms of asking them to downplay the Russian investigation. That would be very concerning to me.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is also set to testify Wednesday. Rosenstein told members of Congress in May that it's possible, Special Counsel Robert Mueller might expand his probe into the firing of Director Comey. In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Rosenstein promised to recuse himself from overseeing Mueller if Rosenstein becomes the focus of that investigation.
COOPER: And Jessica joins us. Now, Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr says he talked with Jim Comey. What's he saying about their conversation?
SCHNEIDER: Anderson, Senator Burr actually spoken him several times. And Burr says that he expects Comey will speak in detail about his conversations with President Trump, but also Chairman Burr says that Special Counsel Mueller has not blocked James Comey from talking about that wider Russia probe, that Comey lead before being fired as FBI director said the testimony could be quite broad.
And in addition, Senator Burr and Ranking Member Mark Warner, they've also met with FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe. They've asked McCabe to hand over any of the memos that Comey kept. Chairman Burr, though, said he doesn't expect to get those before Thursday's hearing. Anderson?
COOPER: All right. Jessica Schneider, thanks. Joining us now is Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut, the Democratic member of House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman, also the fact President Trump will not exercise his executive privilege to prevent Comey from testifying, does that surprise you at all because, obviously, politically -- I mean, the optics of it would not have looked good.
REP. JIM HIMES, (D) INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Yeah. No, it doesn't surprise me. The people I know, lawyers who know the ins and outs of executive privilege tell me that it would be very strange to exert executive privilege against somebody who is now a private citizen who's been asked to testify before the Congress.
And, of course, as you point out politically, it had the White House sort of step in and said that it would have looked very, very bad. And, you know, it was interesting. This is the first time, you know, I've been involved in this investigation for a while now and this is the first time that I can remember the White House actually taking what seems to me to be the right approach, which is, look, let's -- if there's nothing to hide, let's get all the information out. Let's not stop anybody from testifying. Let's not criticize the people who are doing the investigation.
So, I'm glad that this has taken the turn that it has because, of course, getting the specifics of what the president said to Jim Comey, whether Jim Comey said he wasn't under investigation, all these questions need to get answered and need to get answered soon.
COOPER: Yet in terms of questions, I mean, looking forward to Thursday's testimony, what questions do you hope to have answered and what kind of an impact will it have on your committee's investigation, do you think?
HIMES: Well, I think we need to know the specifics of everything that was said by the president to Jim Comey, not just what may have been attempts to slow down, to impede the investigation.
And, again, we have the president himself saying that part of the reason that he fired Jim Comey was because of the pressure of the investigation. And it was odd. We got those two or three different explanations for the firing. But one of them included the fact that he was bothered by the investigation.
We need to know what other pressure may have been put on, what else the president may have said and, of course, what Jim Comey said. Because, remember, the president alleges that Jim Comey said three times that he was not under investigation. We'll want to know about that.
[21:10:07] And obviously, get those memos. I -- it would not surprise me if Jim Comey, in fact, memorialized these weird conversations in some memorandums. We need to see those.
COOPER: Does your committee, the House Intelligence Committee, have any interviews currently scheduled as part of the investigation into Russia? Because we know as of last week, some interviews were scheduled but they were canceled by Ranking Democratic Member Adam Schiff. Do you say why there are attempt?
HIMES: Yeah. You know, that's actually not accurate. We -- I'm not quite sure how that story gained momentum. But, the fact of the matter is that the investigation is going very, very well. Mike Conaway on the Republican side and Adam on the Democratic try to working well together.
There was a little blip there when there were subpoenas issued by the chairman, not by Mike Conaway, around this whole issue of unmasking. That presumably has nothing to do with the -- or I would hope has nothing to do with the Russia investigation since the chairman -- Chairman Nunes has said that he will not involve himself in any way in that investigation. But we are proceeding.
We're at a point in time in the House investigation right now where we are getting documents and reviewing documents. And, of course, you know, you don't want to interview witnesses until you have all the documentation so that you can ask informed questions and really be strategic about the order in which you interview witnesses.
Obviously, we will continue to work closely with Senator Warner and Senator Burr to make sure that we're not duplicating effort and to make sure that we've got all the information that the other committee has. But I think it's going well.
COOPER: Did you know that Chairman Nunes could still issue subpoenas? Because, I mean, he stepped aside from leading the Russia investigation. He still control subpoena power, which he used last week. It surprised, you know, certainly some people in the public. Do you think he should continue to have that power?
HIMES: Well, this was sort of a technical glitch that developed. And, yes, we all knew about it, because under the rules of the committee, the chairman issues subpoenas. Now, you know, if you're really observing a recusal as he said he would do, you would delegate the authority for Russia related subpoenas to Mike Conaway. And you'd hope that it would be Mike Conaway in conjunction with the Democrat.
Or you could -- there's another way you could do it, which is you have the committee vote on subpoenas. That's not what happened. So, in fact, Devin Nunes signed the subpoenas that were Russia related. And, again, that just doesn't look right to my way of thinking, and then issued these other subpoenas that were about the so-called unmasking allegations that he's been making for a while.
So I hope when we all get back next week that we can come to a cleaner way of, you know, some combination of Mike Conaway and Adam Schiff actually doing the work to issue the subpoenas.
COOPER: All right. Congressman Himes, thanks very much. Appreciate it.
Coming next, the string of presidential tweets that have ignited a controversy in the wake of the London terror attack. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[21:16:17] COOPER: With London's mayor's handling the aftermath of a terror attack, the president say intensified his Twitter attack on the mayor of London. "Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his "no reason to be alarmed" statement. MSM, mainstream media is working hard to sell it."
The president is talking about a statement that he himself, the President of the United States, took out of context in his first tweet slamming the London mayor after London was attacked. That one was part of a tweet storm pushing his travel ban and drawing sharp criticism here and overseas. More and all of that from our Jim Acosta.
MAYOR SADIQ KHAN, LONDON: We will defeat the terrorists.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What London still reeling from a terrorist attack, the White House is defending President Trump's stinging tweet slamming that city's mayor. Asked about the president's tweet, "At least seven dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and mayor of London says there is "no reason to be alarmed."
SANDERS: The point is, is there is a reason to be alarmed.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted the president did not intentionally mischaracterized Mayor Sadiq Khan's response to the attack.
SANDERS: I don't think that's actually true. I think that the media wants to spin it that way.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But listen to the context. The mayor was urging Londoners not to be alarmed about beefed up security in the city after the attack.
KHAN: Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Also in his response to London, the president renewed his pitch for a ban on travelers coming in from six majority Muslim countries, the same ban that's tied up in courts. "Justice Department should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered-down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court and seek much tougher version."
The president tweeted adding, "People, the lawyers and courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a Travel Ban." The president's use of the term travel ban directly contradicts his own aides.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That this is not a Muslim ban. It's not a travel ban. It's a vetting system to keep America safe. ACOSTA (on camera): Sean Spicer, from that podium said it was not a travel ban. Is it a travel ban?
SANDERS: Well, I don't think the president cares what you call it. Everybody wants to get in to the labels and the semantics of it, but the bottom line is, he's trying to protect the citizens of this country. The danger is extremely clear.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Top White House officials insist the media are too focused on the president's tweets.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT TRUMP: This obsession with covering everything he said on Twitter and very little of what he does as president --
ACOSTA (voice-over): But counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway's own husband who is under consideration to become solicitor general, said the tweets may jeopardize the administration's push for the ban.
"These tweets may make some people feel better," George Conway tweeted. "But they certainly won't help the solicitor general get five votes in the Supreme Court, which is what actually matters. Sad."
Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
COOPER: Let's get perspective now from CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash and former Presidential Adviser David Gergen.
David, I mean, the idea that the American public should discount the President of the United States' own words shared directly on social media in favor of spin from his staffers making the morning show rounds just seems ridiculous, particularly in light of the fact that for months they have been extolling the virtues of his direct access to the American people, they extolling the virtues of his ability to tweet.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. I don't know about you, Anderson, but do you have the sense that the president is becoming more irrational in his tweeting and sort of like -- busting loose whenever he can?
COOPER: But also stepping on his own message. You know, this was a week--
GERGEN: And stepping on his own message.
COOPER: -- supposedly all that infrastructure not tweeting about that.
GERGEN: Exactly. And threatening his own case before the Supreme Court. That's perhaps the most serious part of this by the tweets on the travel ban. You know, he is disagreeing not only with his aides, he's disagreeing with representatives from Justice Department who are arguing the president's case in court.
[21:20:05] They have been arguing to the courts that this is a pause in order to strengthen the vetting process, not on travel ban. And for the president to come in this way only weakens his case. And he's already lost doing this once before -- you know, and we've seen this before.
But the other thing, Anderson, is I do think that it's not helping his reputation around the world and not helping America's reputation, frankly, to pick a gratuitous fight with the mayor of London. Nobody got into a fight or picked a fight with Rudy Giuliani, the mayor of New York, after 9/11.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly.
GERGEN: And it was -- you know, what we should be doing is rallying to and unifying the western nations in the fight against terrorism. We have to do this together.
COOPER: Yeah. I mean, Dana, I mean, again, had the President of Pakistan attacked Rudy Giuliani after 9/11 --
BASH: Or the prime minister of Great Britain.
COOPER: Right for, you know --
COOPER: I mean it would be huge national outrage in the United States.
BASH: As it should have been.
BASH: It would have been. No question about it. Look, the president made a mistake. He misheard or misunderstood what he clearly was watching on cable television in the morning from the London mayor.
He clear -- the London mayor was very clearly not saying people should not be worried about terrorists. He was saying, virtually the same kind of thing that Rudy Giuliani said after 9/11, which is, "We are going to have increased police presence," which we saw here in New York and around the country. It's OK. They are there to protect you.
And on the tweets about the Supreme Court, I have to say, of course, his instinct, which he thinks and did sort of follow him down the path to becoming president, is be politically incorrect. It's one thing to be politically incorrect, it's another thing to cross the line when you are President of the United States and clearly jeopardize a Supreme Court case, which is why George Conaway -- Conway, excuse me, came out and did what he did.
COOPER: David, also the president, you know, in one of his tweets about the travel ban is saying, you know, that they changed it. They shouldn't have changed it. It should have been the original one. GERGEN: Yes.
COOPER: He is the President of the United States. I mean, he --
BASH: He's the day (ph).
COOPER: I mean he's the day.
GERGEN: He signed the order.
COOPER: It's like he's a passenger. It's like he's watching this and just, you know, he's watching it on cable and he just decides to tweet along with the hosts on Fox & Friends.
GERGEN: It couldn't be more bizarre. And I do think going back to your original point, the White House can't have it both ways. They can't claim -- you know, this is a very important channel for reaching over, you know, 30, 40, 50 million Americans. It's the way he communicates. But by the way, don't take it seriously.
GERGEN: Don't -- you know, you shouldn't cover it. I mean, you know, that's completely nonsense.
COOPER: Right. And they were -- the thing about it, there are so many of -- the argument is we're idiots for paying attention to the president's tweets.
COOPER: Europe says that American people are obsessed.
COOPER: But, they've been arguing again for months that we should be obsessed, that we should -- that it sets the agenda, it sets policy. Dana, what can you say?
BASH: Can I just say, I think you're on to something when you say that, you know, that he is acting as if it's not the same administration. Because somebody said to me in looking at this, remember what got him so angry back several months ago is when his own attorney general recused himself from Russia. That infuriated -- and not just Russia, recused himself from pretty much everything that had to do with the campaign. That infuriated the President.
So the fact that he tweeted today and did something that did jeopardize the Justice Department was part of that fury continuing and clearly trying to send the message to his own Justice Department through Twitter.
COOPER: Dana Bash, thank you.
GERGEN: Yeah. But that's, you know -- I just going to say, that's true. There is a difference, though. There's a difference and that is when he first got angry at Sessions, it was because he wasn't told, he never checked, when Sessions just did it, recused himself. In my judgment did the right thing.
BASH: But he didn't think he did the right thing.
GERGEN: The president actually signed it.
COOPER: We got to -- we're so over time. Dana Bash, thanks, David Gergen as well.
Coming up, our legal team weighs in on what David and Dana brought up, whether presidential tweets will be the undoing of his travel ban.
[21:28:15] COOPER: Well, the President of the United States just tweeted again on his executive order on travel, "That's right, we need a Travel Ban for certain dangerous countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people!" Justice Department lawyers have avoided calling it a travel ban in court. And the president's representatives have constantly pushed back on that phrasing as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPICER: This is not a Muslim ban. It's not a travel ban. It's a vetting system to keep America safe.
JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: This is not, I repeat, not a ban on Muslims.
SPICER: Travel ban, that misrepresents what it is.
KELLY: It wasn't a travel ban. It was a travel pause.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not a Muslim ban.
SPICER: 325,000 people from another country can't come in. That is by nature not a ban.
CONWAY: What about the 46 majority Muslim countries that are not included? Right there it totally undercuts this nonsense that this is a Muslim ban.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Apparently, the president forgot that it's not a travel ban. And, again, this latest tweet came just hours after another, "People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a Travel Ban. So not only is it a TRAVEL BAN!"
Joining us, Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz along with CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Laura Coates. Jeff, this whole it is a travel ban, it's not a travel ban back and forth. How much does it matter legally speaking?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's certainly not helpful to the Trump administration. But I don't think it's fatal to their case before the Supreme Court. Remember, the real problem is if he would have said this was a Muslim ban. And this is not, according to the administration, a Muslim ban.
A travel ban is a less problematic phrase, but it is still suggestive of the improper motive that the lower courts found, which raises something that the administration would rather not deal with, as this case comes before the Supreme Court.
[21:30:05] COOPER: Professor Dershowitz, I mean, these tweets from the president, do they undermine his own Justice Department's case as it heads to the Supreme Court?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: I think they do to a substantial degree. Look, there are three issues that the Supreme Court will confront. Is there standing, number one? And on that issue, he says that the first travel ban is as good as the second travel ban. That's just wrong.
The first travel ban really gives standing to green card holders. Whereas, the second travel ban eliminates green card holders. So, it makes it a much harder case for standing. Second, religious discrimination, that's the same essentially in both the old and the new. And third, establishment of religion, and that, too, is much better from the Trump administration's point of view in the second travel ban than in the first, because it doesn't have this special exception for discriminated against Christians.
So, I think he is wrong if he thinks he has as good a shot on the first ban as the second ban. And I also think they will alienate the court because I think the courts actually thought it was a good thing that he tried to amend the ban to make it more constitutional.
COOPER: Laura, I mean, the White House national security aide, Sebastian Gorka, was on CNN this morning. I do want to play for our viewers to what he said about the president's tweet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN GORKA, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY AIDE: It's social media.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It's not social media. It's his words, his thoughts.
GORKA: It's not policy. It's not an executive order. It's social media. Please understand the difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Laura, I mean, what about that? Is there a difference legally speaking between a tweet and actual policy?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, that's an absurd statement that he made. It suggests that somehow, we can't take the president's words at face value. And we must ignore them unless they are under official context.
Listen, the president's statements in his tweet or whatever preferred method of communication he uses can still be used against him in a sense. In here, you've got prior to his tweets, the real argument was whether or not the candidate Trump, the campaign rhetoric would undermine the ability to put forth a travel ban.
Now, you've got the idea of now presidential Donald Trump making the same statements and undermining the suggestion by Justice Department that says, "Listen, do not look behind the curtain, those statements are simply on the campaign trail. Look at the actual facially neutral executive order he has put forth." That undermines that almost fatally in my opinion because it does the very thing, the Justice Department said it did not do, which to say, listen, this was an attempt, very similar to what Giuliani said to make it sound pretty and constitutional. And it does neither.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, I think that is wrong.
TOOBIN: But I think it's worth remembering that never in the history of the United States Supreme Court has the court looked at campaign rhetoric to decide where something is constitutional. And here we have an executive order where the attorney general, the secretary of state, the secretary of homeland security have all said, this is necessary for the national security.
And it deals with immigration, which is an area that the president has great latitude at. I think the Supreme Court is going to be very reluctant to overturn that given how much discretion the president have regardless of what he said during the campaign or in these tweets.
COATES: We're not basing it -- we're not basing on campaign rhetoric any longer. We're basing it on now post-inauguration, president actually incumbent in the office. We're basing it on what he is saying now. Remember, it's not --
DERSHOWITZ: He didn't say anything about Muslims.
COOPER: Professor Dershowitz?
COATES: If you would, my point was actually not that he said anything about Muslims. His statement is that it's about the presidential statements that he is now making. The issue that was the campaign rhetoric is lay off the table. Now, it's about what he said while president.
COOPER: OK, professor? DERSHOWITZ: You're just missing the point, though. You're absolutely missing the point. A travel ban is constitutional. The president has the authority to impose a travel ban. He is being direct. He is saying it's a travel ban.
If it were a ban on Muslims, then it would start with Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. It's clearly a ban, a travel ban temporary to be sure on Islamic terrorists.
Now, it may be over broad because it includes seven of the eight countries that the Obama administration itself listed as somewhat risky. But nothing he said in the tweets in any way supports the notion that this is a Muslim ban. They do say it's a travel ban.
TOOBIN: Jeff, I mean, George Conway, Kellyanne Conway's husband, it's kind of interesting, you know, withdrew who -- he obviously withdrew his name recently for -- to a senior Justice Department position. He tweeted on Monday saying, "These tweets may make some people feel better, but they certainly won't help officer of solicitor general get five votes in SCOTUS, which is what actually matters. Sad."
What do you make of the fact that this is coming from a close ally of the president and the husband of Kellyanne Conway?
TOOBIN: The mind reels that the family dynamics that might be reveal -- that might be behind that tweet. I mean, I do think that George Conway is right that the administration would have been better off, had not -- had the president not made these tweets.
[21:35:09] You know, we're having this disagreement here about whether these tweets are really bad for the administration's case or only a little bit bad. I tend to think they're only a little bit bad. But, it is true that it would have been better off if -- for the administration if the president had never done it.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin, Laura Coates, Professor Dershowitz, appreciate as well. Thank you all.
Well, coming up here, we go to London from the latest in the terror investigation. There are two of three killers who've now been identified as the city mourns the seven dead and prays for the 48 wounded.
COOPER: In London tonight, hundreds gathered along the river towns (ph) mourning the victims of the weekend terror attack. The mayor said, "Sick and evil extremists will not win." Less than a mile away as where seven people were killed and dozens injured Saturday night. British police have identified two of the three men responsible for the terror attack.
CNN Senior International Correspondent Clarissa Ward in London with the latest. One of the attackers was on the radar of British authorities, right? [21:40:03] CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He was indeed Anderson. And in quite significant way, he is a 27-year- old who was born in Pakistan, but spent most of his life here in the United Kingdom. He lived in the east of London. And he was part of a group known as Al-Muhajiroun.
This was a group of young extremists who sort to fell under the spell of a hate preacher called Anjem Choudary. And for many years now, they have been very well-known here in the United Kingdom. They would stage rallies, burn flags, you know, pray very publicly, often unfurling the black flag that's commonly associated with the extremist Islamist ideology. And he even appeared in a documentary that aired last year called "The Jihadis Next Door." So, certainly, he was well- known to authorities.
But what authorities here are saying is, "Well, he was part of that group, but he wasn't one of the ones that we thought were trouble makers. He was kind of the quiet one. We didn't know that he was planning an attack." But, certainly, this is raising some questions, for sure.
COOPER: What's known about the other two terrorist?
WARD: Well, interestingly, very little. And this is where it becomes interesting in terms of trying to piece together how these three men knew each other. One man, we don't know anything about. The police have identified him, but they're not publicly identifying him, although, it appears, he may have been carrying an Irish identity card with him.
The second man, we know only as Rachid Redouane. We know very little about him except that he identified as potentially Moroccan or Libyan. So, he does not necessarily fit into the same profile as the other Al- Muhajiroun member.
And just to give you some more clarity on this Al-Muhajiroun group, one terror analyst who we spoke to said that 50 percent of terror plots in the U.K. have actually involved members of Al-Muhajiroun in one way or another. So this is a group that is very well-known.
For years, Anderson, they were dismissed by many people as sort of clowns with gowns. They were over the top. They were considered silly almost or like posturing. But it's clear that they should be taken on one level very seriously.
COOPER: I want you to stay with us, but I want to bring in CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem and CNN Terrorist Analyst Paul Cruickshank.
Paul, what have you been learning so far?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, one of the other things we've been learning, this comes from Sundays to do our colleague who actually spent time investigating this group in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and actually met with Khuram Butt, the -- one of the London attackers, was that he was very, very close in this group to a British extremist called Abu Rumaysah.
Now, Abu Rumaysah actually left the U.K. in October 2014 and went and joined ISIS and then started climbing up the ranks of ISIS. And he may have been the ring master in a January 2016 ISIS execution video.
Now, why is this interesting to investigators? It's because ISIS have claimed this attack. And I think there is a possibility here that this London attacker, Khuram Butt, could have been in touch with his very close friend who had climbed up the ranks of ISIS and is still believed to be in and around Raqqa, Syria. That all raising the possibility if he was indeed in touch that he could have uploaded some kind of video to the group. We've seen that before in these kinds of attacks.
But so far, nothing that the investigation has uncovered is suggesting communication to ISIS. But I would not be surprised if we see that emerge in the coming days.
COOPER: You know, Juliette, I mean time and time and after the wake of events like these, we learned that, you know, there were somewhat on the radar of intelligence, but they frankly just don't have enough personnel to track all the people that are potential suspects.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That is right and that's often the case. It is a least the case with one of the three. But this investigation is different than the ones that we're used to.
I mean, first of all, the second terrorist identified appears to sort of come out of the blue in some ways to law enforcement agencies. There wasn't a lot of knowledge about him. It doesn't appear like he was ever under surveillance.
And then you have this third identified, but not disclosed person, which is just, you know, just rare for law enforcement to come out with two of the three. We -- they know who he is. You know, is he a minor? Do -- have they not notified next to kin? Is there some investigation going on in another country? We just don't know yet.
So this is sort of a combined terrorist attack, I guess, I would say, that sort of known folks or the known person and then some new people. And so, I think the big question that speaking up on Clarissa said is, how did the three of these people come together and plan a coordinated attack? This is not a lone wolves attack.
KAYYEM: You know, plan of coordinated attack on a Saturday night.
[21:45:05:05] COOPER: And, Clarissa, I mean, this is the third terror attack in the United Kingdom in three months, the second in London involving vehicles as weapons. Do we know, I mean, if any of them are connected?
WARD: Well, according to the British prime minister, there's no connection between these three attacks. She also made the point that in the same amount of time another five attacks have been foiled. So, clearly she's trying to show there, you know, that British security services are pulling their weight that they're doing everything they can in the face of a very difficult problem.
They're following or investigating some 23,000 people, Anderson. This is a huge amount of people who are either peripherally or extensively involved with extremist activity. And they've been doing this against the backdrop of major spending cuts to the police forces here.
So, it's not without its challenges. But I do think some real questions remain. You know, Paul brought up Abu Rumaysah who went to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq. I interviewed Abu Rumaysah back in 2014. I also thought he was sort of a clown in a gown. I did not take him seriously.
The police had taken away his passport and yet he was able to get to ISIS territory and went on to become at least in the propaganda videos, the next Jihadi John. So, there are some real questions about why more action hasn't been taken sooner to prevent this sort of thing from happening, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Clarissa, appreciate the reporting, Juliette and Paul as well. Thank you very much.
Up next, President Trump's tweets on the London attack, what he did not say about NATO and how it all could be making it awkward for defense secretary and his national security adviser right now.
[21:50:27] COOPER: President Trump could be making things awkward for his defense secretary hours after this weekend's London attacks. James Mattis was asked for his thoughts on the situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDINTIFIED MALE: You know, London police is saying this is a terrorist attack. We have two dead, dozens wounded. What would you say about that?
JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Yeah. I need to confirm everything. I like learning about something before I talk. So, let me look into it.
UNIDINTIFIED MALE: This is why the United States needs a travel ban?
MATTIS: I -- that's -- yeah. I think I need to look into it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, around the same time as we showed you earlier, the president took a much different approach on both topics. He went on a tweet storm. Mattis also reportedly blindsided by the president's speech to NATO in Brussels last -- late last months, we should say, or he did not say, he made no mention of the U.S. commitment to Article 5 of the NATO alliance, which says an attack against one member is an attack against all. Politico was reporting it was in the speech of President Trump did not actually say it. According to Politico, that surprised Mattis along with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Tillerson.
But just moments ago, Vice President Pence spoke at dinner in Washington telling the crowd that now is the time for NATO to stand united and stand strong in the wake of the terror attacks.
David Gergen is back with us and joining us is retired General Mark Hertling, a CNN Military Analyst.
David, I mean you work for a lot of presidents seeing many national security team come and go. Have you ever seen top advisors having to do this much damage control so soon?
GERGEN: No. This whole story about having the speech change at the last minute, the sentence dropped, you know, it's been very disturbing on several levels. First, it has badly hurt the U.S. relationship with NATO. They were trying to -- the administration, you know, was trying very hard, McMaster and Mattis and, you know, Tillerson have been trying very, very hard to repair things to say that we do support Article 5.
And very importantly, they have been seen as the real adults at stabilizing force. Those three men have enormous credibility and to undercut them really damages the presidency itself. It damages the credibility of the president. Nobody knows who -- if you listen to Mattis or if you listen to Trump, and they disagree with each other, which one you -- should you believe in U.S. policy?
And finally, I think that just underscores as the travel ban story has. This president really does not listen to the people around him. He goes his own way. Now, some people say that's terrific. If you talk to gentleman like McMaster and Mattis and Tillerson, I will guarantee you, they have some thoughts that are not quite so happy and they're keeping -- trying to keep them to themselves.
COOPER: Yeah. And General Hertling, I mean, the fact that president took and he mention, presumably took and mentioned of Article 5 out of his NATO speech without notifying his closes military national security advisers to -- I mean, what kind of an impact does that have or does it?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, you know, Anderson, we took a great deal of comfort in the fact that the president chose a couple of military guys to be in key positions. They were experienced, savvy. They relied on their values and their character. And we all thought, OK, he's going to listen to them in areas where he doesn't have as much experience or savvy. It doesn't appear that that's happening.
McMaster -- General McMaster is one of many people in a room. He is the national security adviser, which means he gives advice along with several other people on national security. He is up against the ideal logs. He's given common sense solutions or solutions based on his years of experience, they're not being taken.
We've seen Secretary Mattis being short changed, not only in the NATO Article 5 issue that you just mentioned, but in the last week at the Singapore Security Conference. Secretary Mattis gave an amazing speech to our allies and as soon as he was finished, he was being questioned about, "Are these the policies of the United States or is what the president's saying the policy of the United States. And what are the differences?
And he was put in quite a few spots, not just the one where the reporter said, what's your view on the travel ban, that he knew nothing about at the time. So, all of these things are causing confusion much like Sean Spicer or Kellyanne Conway not getting the word. I think our military folks in the administration are as confused as well.
And unfortunately, we have a president that doesn't seem to be taking responsibility for anything and what concerns me is what might happen when there's a real crisis. You know, we wake up every morning and there's something new going on, but there hasn't been an extreme crisis in national security yet, but there will be if past presidents run any indication.
[21:55:03] COOPER: David, I mean you've worked in White Houses before, Republicans and Democratic White Houses. I mean, just -- it seems like they're organized differently and that there's a structure that does not apparently exists so that everybody gets on the same page to -- even the same page of what the president is thinking or maybe the president just changes his mind after they all think they're on the same page?
GERGEN: That's true, Anderson. There is no -- maybe there's a structure inside, but all indications and everybody inside has been telling us it's chaotic. You know, you don't know from one hour the next exactly where you're going to careen down the road in one direction or another. And the president gives directions and then changes his mind and that sort of thing.
Past -- the most successful administrations have been which -- have been ones in which foreign policy is highly structured. That began under President Eisenhower in the 1950s. Coming in as a general, he organized in a classic way, the peer metal (ph) sort of structure in the White House and it has worked extremely well for most presidents.
Once you depart from that and it's a free, you know, it's just a jump ball and everything, it can be a mess. Jimmy Carter experienced some of that and it really hurt him.
COOPER: Yeah. David Gergen, General Hertling, thank you very much. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Hey, thanks for watching. Time to hand things over to Don Lemon in "CNN Tonight." [22:00:06] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, a federal contractor charge with leaking top secret information. This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon.